When I was 19, graduating high school I was so sure of my life. Get a doctorate in psychology, open my own practice, married by my mid 20s at the latest, kids by about 27 or 28 or so, a house with a nice yard, not too big but just right, happy, secure, fulfilled. Looking back I don’t know how I ever thought that. When I was 23 I dated a man 9 years older and often judged him for the way he ran his life – why would he stay in a job he didn’t like? Why doesn’t he have his own house? Shouldn’t he have his life figured out by now? I mean if I was 31 I surely would. Right? So wrong.
I’m 31 and very privileged to have the life I have but I sure don’t feel like I have things figured out. I am not ready to have kids and when a friend said to me a few nights ago “you can’t afford a wedding and you need an engagement ring, which isn’t cheap” – my response “well I’m ok with not getting married soon so money can be saved and I don’t need a super fancy diamond ring so that’s not something I worry about”. I do want to share my life with someone – a partner and companion to hold my hand on the rollercoaster of life. To explore the highs and lows, learn from our mistakes and keep going even if the future seems scary.
The future is scary, it’s damn scary. I’m told to look beyond the fear, to trust that what I need will be and everything will be ok. In 2003 my dad survived a heart attack and on a regular basis, when I freak about about something that may or may not happen in 2 or 6 months, he reminds me “you could die tomorrow”. And it always comes as a shock, even though it’s true. I could die tomorrow. I’m so scared to let go. I always want to know what’s going to happen. I worry about how things will pan out and about others and how they will fit into my life. See above statement about ex-boyfriend. I like to think I’m accepting and open but sometimes it hits me I can be controlling and very judgmental of myself and of others. It’s damaging. Every person is unique and I have to trust that just because a person isn’t living life exactly the way I am that their way isn’t wrong if it’s working for them. I also have to trust that just because my life hasn’t worked to to my plan that it’s not actually working out better. I know people with 6 figure salaries who work long shifts and love it, that would kill me. Everyone is different. People change so much on a regular basis too, there is no way to predict where someone will be in 2 or 5 or 10 years. I have friends who, 5 years ago were reckless with no direction and now are married with kids and great at it. I never thought I’d be a Yoga Teacher and until about a year ago I didn’t even know what Reiki was; neither felt like a must have, they just felt right. I once wanted to be an event planner and another time a publicist…I wanted those jobs so bad. I applied to posting after posting, now I have little interest in that. Once again, people change. Jobs, money, it’s all temporary. Friendship, family, love, smiles, tears, hugs, that lasts…
So why is it the temporary things that bring up so much fear? So much insecurity and sorrow? I always say that if lived in a shack with my loved one and had friends in my life that I’d be happy and yet that scares me. I would have a roof over my head, I would have food, I would have love and happiness, so why is it so scary? Why is the unknown so scary? It’s dark, you can’t see a thing. My partner has a great analogy for venturing into the unknown, he says “it’s dark until you turn on the light and the only way to turn on the light is to move forward. You never know what adventures you’ll find ahead but you have to believe that you’re strong enough and smart enough to go through whatever you meet”. But how do I plan for what I find if I can’t see it? “You can’t because things can always change and then your plan is useless. You need passion and a vision of how you see your life and have faith that it will work out however it is meant to”.
As you see, I’ve had plans and they didn’t work out and I had to rewrite them and they didn’t work out. Right now I know what I want: love, laughs, silliness, a home, a job that doesn’t take over my life, and someday a family full of love and laughs and silliness. But I need to learn to appreciate the moment more because I have no solid plan, no deadlines and that scares the crap out of me.